How to Stay Motivated With No Upcoming Races

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runner on a hill

"What are you training for?"

It's a common question runners are asked. We are always training for something. But with COVID-19 canceling or postponing races across the globe, runners are pondering how to answer.

If we don't have races, what are we training for? 

For a lot of runners, having a race on their calendar is all the motivation they need to hit the ground running. But what do we do once that carrot is taken away? 

Keep Training

When a race is cancelled, don't look at what you've accomplished so far in training as wasted time. Your training wasn't for nothing. Look back at your training plan and see that you've built up a lot of physical and mental strength and plenty of endurance. Stick with your training plan to continue to reap the benefits. Training is what makes your strong, not the race. If you can, plan to do your own race close to home. Get your family involved and have fun with it!

Virtual Races

If you've been on social media since races started to cancel, you've seen that there's a virtual race for everything. A lot of cancelled races immediately offered a virtual option. If you like competition, and the perks of race bling and a T-shirt, a virtual race is for you. 

Scale Your Training Back

How are you feeling right now? Low energy, feeling like you have a little niggle that could turn into something? Now is the perfect time to cut back on running with no concerns of pace or mileage. Get a leg up on that niggle before it turns into a full blow injury that leaves you sidelined from running for 6 to 12 weeks. Focus on your "why" for running in the first place.

Focus on a Non-Finish Line Goal

Not all goals have to end with a finish line. Try setting a weekly or monthly mileage goal. Or maybe you want to gradually increase the days of the week that you run. Other ideas are a monthly time trial 5K, work on achieving a crown on a Strava segment or set an elevation gain goal for the month.

Work on What You Usually Avoid

Want to get faster? Do you typically avoid hills? Now would be a good time to devote specific training to building up your weaknesses. Let that be the focus of your training for a month or longer. You are sure to see improvements along the way.

Watch Inspiring Running Documentaries

Find motivation and inspiration for new goals, new distances and new locations to run once we are allowed to travel the world again. Do a search on YouTube for running and you'll get hundreds of video options from the average Joe running his first 5K to a sponsored pro battling it out at Western States. Seeing others crush their goals is a sure way to stoke the training fires.

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